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“Atlantis: The Lost Tales” on Windows 7

„Atlantis“

„Atlantis“

We’re writing the year 1997. Small Ginchen is about fifteen years old, when “Cryo Interactive” release the first game of the “Atlantis” series. We had a PlayStation 1, and someone gave us a few games for it – including “Atlantis”. It wasn’t particularly comfortable to play an adventure game with the control pad, but I liked the game so much that I gladly took on this burden.

Since then I have wanted to play this beautiful game again – but please, on the computer. So I bought it in the shop one day, but it wouldn’t start. I tried every tip I could find, but never managed to get the game running. Until now! And since, over the years, I have read from so many people that they are having the same problems and therefore can’t play their beloved “Atlantis”, I will put down in writing how I got it to work.

However, even if you don’t have the game, you should still take a look at the soundtrack und screenshots at the bottom. :)

Content

  1. Disk not found
  2. Graphics issues
  3. Crash on CD change
  4. Done!
  5. Soundtrack
  6. Screenshots

Disk not found

The first obstacle one might stumble over when starting the game is this error message:

“Restart with CD 1 in the drive.”

Depending on the version, however, you might also get the error message in French:

“Redémarrer avec le CD 1 dans le lecteur.”

Disk Management

Disk Management

The solution: If you have two (or more) CD drives, you have to put the “Atlantis” disk into the first one. (Obviously, the game was made at a time when multiple CD drives were something completely unimaginable.) If you don’t have a CD at all, but instead want to play from an image file using “Daemon Tools” or similar, you have to change the drive letter of the virtual drive so it comes before the real CD drive in the alphabet. Here’s how:
Right click on “My Computer” → “Manage” → “Storage” → “Disk Management”
Then right click the drives in question and select “Change Drive Letter and Paths”.

Graphics Issues

Compatibility options

Compatibility options

Now I was able to actually start the game for the first time after all these years – but it kept minimizing itself every two seconds, and I ended up on the desktop. Here, the Windows compatibility settings can help: In the game directory (by default C:\CRYO\ATLANTIS), right click Atlantis.exe, go to “Properties” → “Compatibility”, and select “Run in 256 colors”. (If that still doesn’t help, you can also try the checkboxes for “visual themes”, “desktop composition” or different settings under “compatibility mode”.) It might just run now, and you can happily start playing. In this case, have fun!

However, it may also be that the game starts now, but the image is unidentifiable and full of stripes. Now there’s either good or bad news: For the CD version, there is a graphics patch; for the DVD version, there isn’t. So if you have the DVD version, you sadly have to give up at this point. If you search for “Atlantis” on certain sites, you will indeed come across a number of download possibilities for the CD version, like here, for example. But, unfortunately, these things are illegal. Too bad!
Now, if you own the CD version, you can simply download this patch and overwrite your old Atlantis.exe and cryo.dll with the new ones from the ZIP archive. Remember: For this new Atlantis.exe, you must again set the compatibility to 256 colors before starting!

Crash on CD change

Error on CD change

Error on CD change

Finally, there is one more problem: Eventually, when you try to enter the elevator to the hangar, you will be prompted to insert CD 2. Unfortunately, the game crashes with an error message when doing that. The simplest solution to this problem is to download the next savegame right after the CD change. Now open the “Atlantis” folder, where there should be no more than 26 .gam files at this time, and add the new savegame pa27.gam. After that you can load the elevator scene in the game via Escape → “Load game”.

Done!

Now everything should finally work. Only the animations of characters and mouse cursors run far too fast on modern computers, which looks extremely stupid most of the times. While there are some “CPU slowing tools” on the web, I’ve tried several of them, but to reduce the animations to a normal speed, I had to create so much CPU load that everything else (such as rotations, movements, video sequences etc.) became too jerky. So I think it’s better to just live with it. It’s not that bad, and you get used to it quite quickly. ;)

And now enjoy this beautiful, somewhat “MYST”-like game! (Actually, one of the sounds from the soundtrack strongly resembles the one from “MYST”, when you just travelled to a different world with a book.)

Soundtrack

“Atlantis” soundtrack

“Atlantis” soundtrack

While we’re already at it: The game has an, in my opinion, exceptionally beautiful soundtrack, which was even released as an album. It consists mostly of quiet, meditative sounds, good for relaxing and dreaming. My favorite: “Back to Atlantis“, which I’ve never gotten out of my head again since 1997.

Be sure to click and listen to the previews!

Screenshots

Finally, here are a few screenshots that I’ve made while playing. Click through them, if you like. :)



Comments

1 2 3 5

  1. 7th June 2011
    12:12 pm

    Ginchen flag

    If you read the post carefully, there is a link in there.

  2. 7th June 2011
    12:08 pm

    Mia flag

    Hello friends… i need your help… does anybody know where i can get this wonderful game? i played it 5 years ago and i miss this game because its fantastic game. I am from Slovakia and here isnt so many places to find this game… but it can be on internet… ? Any idea? Thaaanks

  3. 12th February 2011
    4:13 pm

    Ginchen flag

    Hehe, I’m glad you found a solution. The game is just incredibly beautiful, it would have been a shame if you couldn’t have played it. ;)

    It’s strange though: I played the game with images, too, but it never crashed when I minimized it! However, have fun! :D

  4. 12th February 2011
    12:45 pm

    Ewa flag

    Hello!
    I’ve sorted it out later:)
    The problem was due to the fact that i’m using images instead of cd’s (old cd’s, perpetual time of reading them, no possibility to even talk with others smoothly), and there is no way to minimalize the game without crashing it in order to change the image in virtual CDdrive.

    So I switched into cd just for a while, to create savegame, and it did the trick. Then I returned to cdimages and starting with cd2, 3 or 4 is no problem :). Appropriate savegame must exists and the game must “know” that it needs to start with the last save-file.

    Of course , your file, pa27, was essential. Why does this cdchange bring about craches while others does not? But the result? 10 minutes and i’ll finish the game:). it’s immortal.

    Thank you for your help :). I returned to 1998 :).

    Ewa

    ps. your guide works the same for win7 and XP SP3 :). I’m using 2 computers and 2 OS’es just to play this game:D

  5. 11th February 2011
    6:51 pm

    Ginchen flag

    Hi Ewa, this is normal: You always have to start the game with CD1 and then load the savegame where you stopped last time. It’s annoying, but unfortunately that’s how they wrote the game … I have no idea how we could change it.

    But you do get into the elevator using the pa27 savegame, right? Because if so, everything is fine and perfectly normal. :)

  6. 11th February 2011
    4:12 pm

    Ewa flag

    Hello!
    It’s very helpful here:) I managed to start the game so it’s huge success.
    But unfortunately I’ve just come across a problem with changing the cd.
    I’ve put your file next to the others saves, but it’s doesnt work for me :(.
    Game still requires cd1 when I select my name-probably it’s just want to start with pa26, and at this point i cannot choose which stage i want to start from – when the game starts there appears a selection of players, not loading a particular stage :(.
    When I run pa26 with cd1 and then click “load” and “Elevator” obviously immediately shows “insert cd2”. And then when i need to restart game hoping it’s gonna start with pa27 save, it doesn’t…

    Do you have any idea how to work it out?

    Big Thanks!

  7. 11th October 2010
    3:37 pm

    Ginchen flag

    Hmm, bei mir klappte die Szene wunderbar. Bei mir sind nur die Animationen der Figuren beim Sprechen usw. zu schnell – ansonsten läuft das Spiel schon in normalem Tempo. Ich hatte jedenfalls genug Zeit, die Treppe hoch zu laufen. Hoffentlich klappt’s noch! Wenn es gar nicht gehen sollte, könnte ich noch mal in meiner History kramen; ich hatte da eine Seite gefunden, wo man sämtliche Savegames runterladen konnte. Dann könntest Du ab dem nächsten Save weiterspielen.

    Edit: Gefunden!

  8. 11th October 2010
    3:26 pm

    Eno flag

    Wer hätte das gedacht. Nach so langer Zeit kann ich jetzt mein Lieblingsspiel wieder spielen. Sogar auf meinem Netbook. Vielen Dank für die Hilfe. Blöderweise weiß ich gerade nicht weiter. Eno ist im roten Gockel und irgendwie muß ich ganz schnell die Treppe rauf. Doch jedesmal bekomme ich ein Messer in den Rücken. Früher ist das Spiel ja “langsamer” gelaufen. Vielleicht hatte ich da mehr Zeit zum fliehen ? Schade, daß sich die Figuren so schnell bewegen (liegt ja am Prozesor). Den Soundtrack habe ich übrigens schon sehr lange und ich kann ihn auch nur weiterempfehlen.

  9. 22nd September 2010
    11:33 pm

    Ginchen flag

    Yeh, I also played MYST just recently, and it too was quite a pain in the ass to get running! Installation was easy, but it would only run with the old Quicktime 2.x that comes with it, and not with current versions. The first 5–6 times, uninstalling the current QT and installing the old one did not help. Then, suddenly, it did. I don’t really know why. :)

  10. 17th September 2010
    9:39 pm

    TJ Meier flag

    I remember trying to play Myst and I couldn’t quite get it figured out, heh. I might have to check this one out too.

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